When you’re pregnant and putting together your baby registry, all sorts of people, from family and friends to well-intentioned strangers start rattling off things you can’t live without. But if you’re a city dweller, as the list grows by the dozen, you’ll quickly start to wonder, “How will this all fit in my apartment?”
City living naturally calls for doing more with less, as excess storage is hard to come by. That means you city parents need to be extra choosy when it comes to the type of gear you buy to ensure that it fits your lifestyle (think: a stroller that can easily maneuver through crowded sidewalks or a carry-all diaper bag that holds literally everything).
So to help you navigate the sometimes overwhelming options in the baby gear department, we’re rounding up the must-haves for city parents.
How we chose
City-friendly baby gear needs to be safe, functional, lightweight, and compact. If possible, it’s ideal that the gear you choose can be repurposed during a later stage of baby’s life.
For this list, we reached out to city moms and dads to better understand their parenting needs and requirements, as well as the specific products that they found useful during their baby’s first year.
We also factored in product reviews to ensure that the gear we are recommended had a high satisfaction rating.
- $ = under $100
- $$ = $100–$199
- $$$ = $200–$300
- $$$$ = over $300
A compact stroller
A stroller is one of the baby gear items that you’ll probably use every day for the first several years of your child’s life. And, especially when looking for a city stroller, size matters. You want something small enough to fold, light enough to carry, and easy enough to maneuver on city streets.
UPPAbaby is a favorite among city moms for a few reasons. First, its rear suspension ensures that it rides smoothly (even on bumpy sidewalks), it folds into an easy-to-carry position that takes up minimal space, and its fabric canopy provides UPF 50+ protection for your little one while you’re on the go.
This stroller is no doubt a splurge, but reviewing parents say it’s worth it for the extra storage, sturdy wheels, and smooth ride. Plus, you’ll be using it from the car seat days (not included with this stroller) until your kiddo hits 50 pounds (lbs.).
A travel-friendly car seat
Even city parents need to use a car seat once in a while, and when they do, they need it to be lightweight and allow for baseless installation. This convertible seat from Cosco covers both of those bases and then some.
It can be used as both a rear-facing and front-facing car seat, so it’ll last your little traveler until they’re over 40 lbs. It’s loved by parents for its lightweight design (weighing in at just over 10 lbs.), easy-clean cover, and simple, baseless installation.
A stylish, accessible diaper bag
Since you’ll likely be doing the majority of your transporting by foot, you want a diaper bag that’s functional, but fits your style. That’s what parents love about Skip Hop’s Chelsea bag.
This bag has a sleek design and adjustable backpack straps, freeing your hands so you can carry your baby and whatever else you might have with you. It also comes with a changing pad, two insulated bottle pockets, and plenty of smaller pockets for pacis, diaper creams, and more.
A sleep-inducing bassinet
For the first couple months (at least), your baby is going to be bunking with you in your room. City rooms are often small, so you’ll want a bassinet that you can easily pull as close as possible to your bed and move away in the morning to make room for you to walk.
This one, by Halo, is known and loved for its swivel feature that rotates 360 degrees. Its sturdy, four-point base adjusts to fit most beds with a range of 24 to 34 inches tall. It also comes with a nontoxic waterproof mattress pad and a coordinating fitted sheet.
A comfortable carrier
Some days your little one will want to be physically as close to you as possible. That’s when a baby carrier saves the day. It allows you to walk, talk on the phone, work, or do whatever it is you need to do all while carrying them nice and close.
City parents love the Ergobaby Omni 360, which accommodates most babies from the newborn period through age 4 (whether you want to carry your 4-year-old that way is up to you!) and allows you to carry your baby facing in or out, on the hip or on the back. It also comes with a UPF 50+ hood to protect your little one from the sun.
A soothing sound machine
Cities aren’t known for being quiet — ever. That’s why you’ll most certainly want to have a sound machine on hand to tune out all the racket.
The SoundBub is one of the most compact sound machines out there, but it packs powerful shushing power. It’s hailed by parents for its ease of use and its integrated clip that you can attach to anything from your rocking chair to your baby’s stroller. Play six different built-in white noise and shushing sounds, or use it as a Bluetooth speaker to play your own music for your little one.
If you live in a city that gets chilly during the winter (we’re looking at you, Chicago!), you’ll definitely want to have a pair of these stroller gloves handy. They hook right onto your stroller’s handle so you can stay warm while you’re on the go. They’re water repellent, machine washable, and come in a handful of different colors to match your style.
Being a city-dwelling parent calls for a little more attention to detail when it comes to picking products for your growing family. But with the right lightweight, functional gear, you’ll be enjoying the hustle and bustle of city life with your little one in no time.